Prayers please

March 19, 2009 at 4:45 am (Uncategorized)

Children are so wonderfully unselfconscious about prayer. Once, when Henry had a headache and was unable to articulate where the pain was, he sobbed, “my eyes are broken.” Riley immediately piped up, “I’ll say a prayer to Saint Lucy,” who happens to be the patron saint of eye trouble, which my then four-year-old knew thanks to her excellent Catholic junior kindergarten.  Or if something’s lost, she’s the first to say, “I’ll pray to Saint Anthony.  He’ll help.”  The children are quick to chime in with prayers when they hear an ambulance or fire engine siren, and their prayers are so beautiful. Henry: “Thank you for the ambulance coming so the people can get to the hospital and get all fixed up.” Riley: “Please let whoever it is be okay, and help their family and friends not be too worried about them.”
We pray as a family too, of course. Our blessing before meals is sung to the tune of “Yankee Doodle” and goes: “Thank you for the wind and snow, the sun and pleasant weather. Thank you for the food we eat, and that we are together.”  Although, we don’t sing it before breakfast and lunch…I’m not sure why dinner is the only meal we’re thankful for.  Anyway.  And the kids say their prayers before bed.  They recite the old standby:  “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…” but rather than the “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”  which I said as a child, my kids say, “Angels watch me through the night and wake me with the morning light.”  They go on to bless whomever and whatever they’re thinking about, but it usually goes something like “God bless everyone in the whole world and all animals.”  And Henry added for a long time, “and especially Henry, because I hurt my toe two times.”  Man, he must have added the toe addendum every night for more than a month.

So they’re great pray-ers.  They’re sincere and truthful and really, really beautiful about it.  Whereas I myself am a rotten pray-er, with the exception of times of crisis, see yesterday’s post.  So I’m trying to learn from them, to emulate their lack of  self-consciousness and their spontaneity.  We’ll see how it goes.

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2 Comments

  1. Emily said,

    I pray so much more since I got pregnant with N. It’s like my Grandmother used to intimate to me – I think there is simply solace in what’s basically the serenity prayer – what you can’t control you pretty much have to give over. And where I always cared about people and things, the enormity of anything going wrong for your child, and with the amount of control you have over their destiny – well, it’s too much without believing/praying. I’d simply be paralyzed if I couldn’t pray and move on.

  2. batsinthebelfry said,

    I think I pray more now too. No, I know I do, but I hadn’t articulated the reason so well. Thank you!

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